Friday, February 26, 2010

Jill Simmons appointed as acting director of the Office of Sustainability & Environment



City of Seattle

Mike McGinn, Mayor

For Immediate Release: February 26, 2010

Contact: Aaron Pickus, (206) 233-2650

Jill Simmons appointed as acting director of the Office of Sustainability & Environment

Charged with coordinating citywide approach to sustainability

SEATTLE – Mayor Mike McGinn today announced the appointment of Jill Simmons as acting director of the Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE). Simmons replaces the OSE’s outgoing acting director, Michael Mann.

As part of her new role, Simmons has been asked to recommend ways to strengthen sustainability efforts across City departments. She will co-lead the effort with Marshall Foster, the new City Planning Director in the Department of Planning and Development (DPD).

“While Seattle is a national leader in sustainability, I believe we can be more coordinated and efficient in our efforts,” McGinn said. “I am asking Jill to carry forward the work of the Office of Sustainability and Environment and to partner with key departments like the Department of Planning and Development to develop an action-oriented approach – one that sets clear goals and identifies specific actions to reduce carbon emissions, improve environmental quality and create sustainable communities.”

Prior to the appointment, Simmons served as OSE’s climate protection program manager. Before coming to OSE, she worked in the city’s Finance Department as a fiscal and policy analyst, and also worked on community development and sustainability initiatives at the Northwest Area Foundation. She holds a law degree and master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington.

“Jill brings the right combination of strategic thinking, dedication to sustainability, and city experience,” McGinn said. “I look forward to working with Jill to enhance OSE’s work and to develop a bold sustainability agenda for Seattle. “

Simmons will begin her new role on March 1.


Join a citywide conversation on Library services

Susan Hildreth
City Librarian Susan Hildreth invites you to join a citywide conversation on Library services

• What's one thing you wish the Library could provide, or change?
• What's the role of the Library in our community?
• What should we be doing in five to 10 years?
• How should the Library be using new technology?

Please join me and members of the Library Board next month to discuss your hopes and dreams for The Seattle Public Library. Feel free to drop in anytime for a few minutes to share your views. With your help, we will develop a strategic plan to guide our growth and services through 2015.

Later this year we also will conduct surveys, hold focus groups and host two citywide public forums that feature expert panelists on key library issues.

By September, we hope to complete a draft strategic plan, which we will share at meetings across the city. We hope to have a final plan by December.

You helped develop and complete the 10-year "Libraries for All" program to rebuild our facilities. Now it's time to make sure the services and resources we provide meet your needs.

Please help us think creatively about the future of Library service. Last year, more than 14 million people visited the Library. We want that number to keep growing.

Susan Hildreth
City Librarian

Citywide Conversations

Stop by an open house and "think big" to consider new models, services and roles for The Seattle Public Library.
Everyone is welcome to attend.

Noon to 2 p.m. Monday, March 1
Central Library
1000 Fourth Ave.
Level 3, Living Room

6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 2
Northgate Branch
10548 Fifth Ave. N.E.

4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 3
High Point Branch
3411 S.W. Raymond St.

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 6
Ballard Branch
5614 22nd Ave. N.W.

6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 16
Beacon Hill Branch
2821 Beacon Ave. S.

Feel free to drop in for a few minutes to share your views.

If you can't attend a meeting, but would like to comment, please send an e-mail to

For more details, please see
Strategic Planning on the Library Web site.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New web site opens city data to the public --




Mayor Mike McGinn

Councilmember Bruce Harrell

Council President Richard Conlin

Councilmember Nick Licata

For Immediate Release: February 25, 2010

Mayor Contact: Aaron Pickus, (206)233-2650

Council Contact: Laura Lockard, (206)684-8159, (206)650-6692 (cell)

New web site opens city data to the public

SEATTLE -- Sixty city of Seattle datasets are now accessible online at, which is part of Seattle’s municipal web site. The new site holds significant amounts of information about operations and infrastructure, such as locations of city facilities, schools, and food banks.

“The launch of is the first of four new major web services being launched this year to enhance transparency, improve access to public city information, and streamline customer service reporting and tracking,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell. is a first step in making data publicly available to meet the city of Seattle’s goals for an open, transparent and accountable government. The site initially posts datasets from My Neighborhood Map, which is a feature on the city’s website, It will add data managed by city departments, beginning with data which is commonly requested through the public disclosure process. Some of this data is already available on department websites, but data.seattle.govwill centralize the information on a single site.

“The launch of this web site represents the first step in an ongoing effort that we hope will make the work of city government more open and accessible to residents,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “In the course of our work, we gather a great deal of data on the state of the city and on our performance. We believe that information belongs to the people of Seattle. The Department of Information Technology is doing excellent work toward realizing this goal and all city departments are committed to working together on this project. Councilmember Harrell’s leadership has been invaluable and we look forward to his continued efforts on this project.”

Data.Seattle.Gov transforms the way the city provides public city data to the people of Seattle. This is a key step in our initiative to engage the public in the process of creating new applications for public use and involve them in analyzing city data to improve service to our residents,” said Council President Richard Conlin.

“I’m looking forward to seeing people interpret and apply this data to improving our city services for their neighborhoods and businesses. I expect to see a more responsive and cost efficient city government as a result,” said Councilmember Nick Licata.

The site will grow as city departments build an inventory of datasets that can be added. Information such as business licenses, redacted police reports, and police 911 calls are scheduled for implementation, and more datasets are being readied. The web site includes a contact email address so users can provide comments and suggestions. provides information in a standard format, easily downloadable and usable by the public. The site is powered by software from Socrata (, a Seattle company that supports a number of federal government agencies.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Youth and Families Initiative First Large Group Meeting is Tonight



City of Seattle

Mike McGinn, Mayor

For Immediate Release: February 22, 2010

Contact: Aaron Pickus, (206) 233-2650

Youth and Families Initiative

First Large Group Meeting is Tonight

Dear fellow Seattleites,

Mayor Mike McGinn invites you to participate in the Youth and Families Initiative, a major initiative announced during his inaugural address. The first of five large group meetings is tonight at the Rainier Community Center from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Versions of this invitation have been translated into Spanish, Tagalog, Tigrigna, Chinese, Oromo, Russian, Thai, Amharic, Cambodian, Somali, Korean and Vietnamese (attached).

The children and families of our city are facing many difficult challenges. As a community, we need to talk about what we want for our kids and how best to create a healthy, positive and equitable environment for all families in our city.

Toward this goal, Seattle’s Department of Information Technology has created an online embeddable form for collecting community input for the Youth and Families Initiative (attached). The form, designed to be embedded in blogs and web sites, extends the online outreach outside of the Mayor’s Office.

Let’s start a discussion together and come up with a plan that works.

Please join us in attending one of five workshops, where trained facilitators will lead participants through the beginnings of this group discussion.

February 22 – Rainier Community Center 7:00-8:30 p.m.
March 1 – Northgate Elementary School 7:00-8:30 p.m.
March 8 – Van Asselt Elementary School 7:00-8:30 p.m.
March 15 – Denny Middle School 7:00-8:30 p.m.
March 22 – Garfield Community Center 7:00-8:30 p.m.

The Mayor’s Office has created a visual representation of the outreach process and timeline for the Youth and Families Initiative (attached).

Activities for kids older than three years of age and light refreshments will be provided at each meeting. If English is not your primary language and you would like translation or interpretation, please notify the Department of Neighborhoods at 684-0464 so we can work to provide the best resources available.

“Our goal with the Youth and Families Initiative is to get input from everyone in Seattle who cares about these issues,” said Mayor’s Office Community Engagement Coordinator Sol Villarreal. “We realize that not everyone is going to be interested in attending or able to attend one of the large group workshops, so in order to make sure we’re hearing from a representative sample of the population of the city, we’re also going to be holding up to 100 Community Caucuses around the city. The idea is that instead of asking someone to come to us, we’re going to go to them to make sure that their voice gets heard.”

Each Community Caucus will elect one delegate to send on to the Kids and Families Congress on June 5 at Seattle Center.

It is only together that we can solve the deep, complex problem of how to create an equitable community for our great city’s youth and families. There is no one solution, no one program or person who can point our neighborhoods in the right direction.

We ask that you join us at the beginning of this discussion so that we may all work together toward the common goal of a stronger community.

Please visit to get involved in the Youth and Families Initiative.

Web site:

Facebook: Youth and Families Initiative

Twitter: MayorMcGinn

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Message from John Barber, Parks Board

Dear Parks and Open Space Advocates --

Tomorrow, Seattle City Council has invited testimony to help it set its priorities for the year.

At this time, I do not know if I will be able to testify due to conflicting commitments, but I'd just like to toss out an idea:

There is one priority this city needs to attend to: A question -- "What are the measures of livable, sustainable communities?"

The complex of current realities that we face now and in our future -- climate change towards storms and warmer times, childhood and adult obesity, limited infrastructure, changing economy towards austerity, declining urban forest -- suggest that improving our neighborhoods to make for a more satisfying and sustainable life and how to accomplish such should be among our top priorities.

The most specific measure I don't think we have a good handle on is tree density. The benefits of trees for livability -- stormwater retention, shade,
habitat, local source of oxygen, proximity to nature -- should result in measurable goals.

Right now, a good portion of the "urban forest" is in residential areas, which are no doubt experiencing the greatest declines in canopy due to development.

How many trees should be in street right of way? Bearing in mind that large trees there are inhibited by overhead wiring and pavement, how much canopy should be targeted for private property? We need measures to guide our development rules, regulations, fees, and incentives.

Another element of sustainability and livability is walkability -- desired distances for residents to parks, natural areas, groceries with fresh produce, schools and transit.


SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL - 2010 City priorities.

requests your presence for the announcement of our 2010 City priorities.

Monday, February 22 at 2 p.m.
Council Chambers, 2nd floor City Hall
600 4th Avenue, Seattle

Each year the council develops a set of priorities for moving Seattle forward. As part of our commitment to public involvement, we invite you to join us for this announcement. Sharing these priorities with the community is our way of inviting you to judge our work by evaluating it against our stated goals!

This year the Council has identified 17 critical areas on which it will focus. Councilmembers will deliver personal comments about some of the priorities focused on building a livable city, making communities safe and just, and investing resources fairly and effectively.

Please join us! As always, public comments will be taken on all items on the Council meeting agenda. For a full agenda, please visit:

Thank you.


Council President Richard Conlin

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Seattle Can Become the Most Walkable City in America

Seattle’s Public Life – How it Can Become the Most Walkable City in America

Seattle has just completed the most in-depth study of public spaces Downtown ever conducted in a U.S. city. Don’t miss this free forum about how to turn Downtown into a world-class pedestrian-friendly experience.
Helle Søholt, Managing Partner, Gehl Architects

The forum will feature findings from nearly three years of research in Seattle presented by Helle Søholt, managing partner of Gehl Architects. The City of Seattle and the International Sustainability Institute retained Gehl to audit Downtown’s streets, alleys and public places with students from UW’s Green Futures Lab.

The Copenhagen-based Gehl firm has worked on every continent and in more than 400 cities around the world. Søholt is a founding partner with Jan Gehl and has extensive experience world-wide in urban design including master planning, public life surveys, urban quality analysis, development of strategy plans, public space plans and the design of public spaces.

Time: 6:00pm
Date: Tuesday, February 23
Location: Seattle Art Museum
Enter at First & University Street in Downtown Seattle near the Hammering Man Sculpture (the main entrance will be closed)
Cost: Free
RSVP: Please RSVP via email to or

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Dialogue with Councilmember Sally Bagshaw Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010, 7 p.m.


Regular Meeting

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency), Pacific Marine Center on Lake Union

1801 Fairview Ave E

Thursday, February 18, 2010


A Dialogue with Councilmember Sally Bagshaw

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw chairs the Council’s Parks and Seattle Center Committee. Will the Committee and the Council take a new direction in addressing parks, open space and tree preservation in light of the current economic climate? Councilmember Bagshaw also serves on the Public Safety and Education Committee. What is she looking for in a new police chief? As a member of the Built Environment Committee, how will she work to ensure that developers address the cumulative impacts of development? These are just a few questions that will surface at the February meeting.

The February meeting will also include our monthly Round Robin of issues and projects in your neighborhood. It is your opportunity to brief our citywide membership about what you are working on and to share perceptions on what is going right and what isn’t with our city government.

If you have informational materials you would like distributed at the meeting, please email electronic copies or links to Jeannie Hale at

7:00 Call to Order and Introductions


1. Changes to the agenda

2. President’s report

7:15 A Dialogue with City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw

8:15 Round Robin

1. Wallingford Senior Center Update

2. Multi-Family Code Update

3. Washington State Open Government Conference

4. Keeping NOAA in Seattle

5. University Village expansion and QFC redevelopment

6. Seattle Children’s Hospital proposed master plan

7. Other issues/projects

9:00 Adjourn

NOAA is a federal facility on high security alert, so attendees must enter by the security gate and may need to present photo ID. If you haven't attended a recent Federation meeting, please send your name, contact information, and address to to be added to the entry list. No e-mail? Call 206-365-1267. The building is ADA compliant, with ample parking in front.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Seattle Children's settles with community

Seattle Children's settles with community

Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) - by Jeanne Lang Jones Tuesday, February 9, 2010, 5:08pm PST

Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Laurelhurst Community Club have settled a long-running dispute, paving the way for the hospital’s expansion into the upscale neighborhood.

The compromise between the two sides is likely to keep the hospital from moving out of Seattle, as it had threatened to do.

The agreement is due to be presented to the Seattle City Council Wednesday morning when the council hears oral arguments from 11 parties in support or opposition to the hospital’s major institutions master plan.

“We have worked closely the last several weeks working out our differences and have a compromise that benefits both the hospital and the surrounding communities,” said Laurelhurst Community Club President Jeannie Hale. She declined to provide details of the agreement.

Seattle Children’s Hospital is seeking city approval to expand from 250 to 600 beds at its Laurelhurst location. Community groups have opposed the proposed expansion, saying it was too big for the neighborhood. Hearings Examiner Sue Tanner also recommended last year that the City Council deny the hospital’s expansion plans.

The first phase of the proposed expansion calls for a new 93,527-square-foot emergency department, 258,000 square feet of new bed units, more than 176,000 square feet of diagnostic and treatment facilities and roughly 64,000 square feet of mechanical facilities.

The first phase could be completed in three years, with three additional phases planned.

Last summer, Seattle Children’s Hospital CEO Dr. Thomas Hansen said the hospital might be forced to relocate if it could not get its master plan approved in a timely fashion.

Although the agreement reached between the community club and the hospital appears to put their differences aside, it doesn’t necessarily mean the council will approve the plan as currently presented.

“I think it is important to underscore they have come to an agreement and their responsibility is to come before council to detail it, but the council is the decision-maker,” said Michael Jenkins, legislative analyst for the City Council’s central staff.

“The council will weigh whether or not to approve the master plan.”

The City Council will be hearing oral arguments in a quasi-judicial proceeding in which the council functions somewhat like a jury, making its decision based on official records. Other parties expected to attend the council meeting include Friends of Children’s Hospital, the Coalition of Major Institutions, Laurelon Terrace condominiums, Dixie and Steve Wilson, Catherine Hennings, the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, the Displacement Coalition, the Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness, Hawthorne Hills Community Council and the Seattle Community Council Federation.

After oral arguments are heard, the council will meet again on Feb. 25 to begin deliberations. The council can accept or reject any proposed agreement or send it back to the hearing examiner for further review.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Police Chief Search Public Meetings

Police Chief Search Public Meetings

The City of Seattle has scheduled three public meetings to receive community input on selecting the next Police Chief.

Here are the questions the Mayor’s Police Chief search committee is asking of interested citizens:

• What qualities are you looking for in a new Police Chief?

• What is the most important public safety issue in Seattle?

• What does the Seattle Police Department do well?

• What changes would you like to see?

Wednesday, Feb. 10, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Northgate Community Center Gymnasium, 10510 5th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Franklin High School, 3013 Mount Baker S, Seattle WA 98144

Friday, Feb. 26, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

New Holly Gathering Center, 7054 32nd Ave S , Seattle, WA 98108

Language interpreters will be available for this meeting in the following languages:








Khmer (Cambodian)



Please call 684-0464 to request interpretation services for Feb. 10th,or 17th or to request

additional language services on the 26th.

Please contact the Mayor's Office at 206.684.4000 if you need sign-language

interpreters at any of the meetings.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Call for Agenda Items

Call for Agenda Items

Dear Federation Representatives and Attendees,

At the February 18, 2010 meeting of the Seattle Community Council Federation Councilmember Sally Bagshaw will be our featured guest. If you have specific questions you would like to ask Councilmember Bagshaw (especially if they might require a little research on her end) could you please let us know? Also, if you have suggestions for other items on the agenda or topics you would like included in the round robin, please email back.


Jeannie Hale

Federation President